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Wisconsin lawmaker sues to prevent counting of military ballots in the state

 

Wisconsin state Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R) filed a lawsuit on Friday to temporarily block the counting of military ballots in the state after an election official sent her absentee ballots bearing fake names.

 

“In this case, the temporary injunction remedy sought is to prevent any military elector absentee ballots cast by non-qualified persons casting military elector absentee ballots, if any, from being counted,” read the lawsuit brought by Brandtjen along with two other individuals and the Concerned Veterans of Waukesha Country, where it was filed.

 

They added: “The Plaintiffs want to ensure that any close election result is not determined by non-qualified people voting military elector absentee ballots.”

 

Milwaukee’s mayor said on Thursday that Milwaukee Election Commission (MEC) Deputy Director Kimberly Zapata mailed military ballots she requested for fictitious voters to Brandtjen, who chairs the state House’s elections committee.

 

The intention behind the move is unclear. MEC Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said she thought Zapata wanted to demonstrate the vulnerability of the voting system in Wisconsin.

 

Brandtjen, who has promoted false claims that the 2020 election was stolen through widespread fraud, received the ballots earlier this week. Zapata has since been fired and faces multiple charges.

 

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Man arrested after taking knife into West Bend polling place demanding to 'stop the voting'

 

WEST BEND – A 38-year-old man was arrested early Tuesday afternoon after bringing a knife into the West Bend Community Memorial Library and demanding staff "stop the voting" at the polling location inside, according to police.

 

The situation, which occurred about 12:35 p.m., delayed voting at the library for about 30 minutes as police arrived and took the man into custody. No injuries were reported.

 

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S. Carolina’s US House maps under scrutiny because of race

 

A trial to determine whether South Carolina’s congressional maps are legal closes Tuesday with arguments over whether the state Legislature diluted Black voting power by remaking the boundaries of the only U.S. House district Democrats have flipped in more than 30 years.

 

The trial also marks the first time the South Carolina maps have been legally scrutinized since the U.S. Supreme Court removed part of a 1965 law that required the state to get federal approval to protect against discriminatory redistricting proposals.

 

A panel of three federal judges on Tuesday heard closing arguments in the case in Charleston. A ruling is expected later and any appeal will be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

The Republican-dominated General Assembly redrew the maps early this year based on the 2020 U.S. census, and they were used in this month’s midterm elections.

 

According to a lawsuit filed by the NAACP, the new boundaries unconstitutionally split Black voters in the state’s 1st, 2nd and 5th Districts and packed them all into the 6th District, which already had a majority of African American voters.

 

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Second key Tina Peters deputy pleads guilty, agrees to testify against the indicted Mesa County clerk

 

Asecond key former deputy to indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal charges stemming from a breach of the county’s election system last year, agreeing as part of a deal with prosecutors to testify against Peters in her upcoming trial.

 

Sandra Brown, Mesa County’s former elections manager, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, and one misdemeanor count of official misconduct. 

 

As part of the plea, Brown agreed to cooperate with authorities in their investigation into Peters. If she doesn’t honor the cooperation agreement, the original charges against her — including conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, a felony — will be reinstated.

 

In exchange, Brown will avoid a prison sentence and can only be ordered jailed for a maximum of 30 days. She will be sentenced at a later date to a two-year deferred judgment, which means that as long as she doesn’t break any laws during that time, she won’t be subject to additional penalties.

 

A 15-page arrest warrant for Brown, who was arrested in July, alleged she misrepresented to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office who would be attending a sensitive election system software update in May 2021. An email included in the document shows Brown messaging state elections officials to let them know that Gerald Wood would be attending the update, when in fact, according to authorities, he was never going to be there.

 

Investigators allege that Wood’s identity was stolen by Peters, a Republican, to surreptitiously get another man, Conan Hayes, a former pro surfer and election conspiracy theorist, into the Dominion Voting Systems software update. 

 

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On 6/22/2022 at 12:08 AM, China said:

 

Fox News parent must face defamation lawsuit over election coverage

 

A Delaware judge on Tuesday rejected a motion by the parent of Fox News Network to dismiss Dominion Voting Systems Inc's $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit over the network's 2020 presidential election coverage.

 

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis, who last December said Dominion could sue Fox News Network, said the voting machine company can also sue Fox Corp on a theory it was directly liable for statements on the network.

 

Fox Corp did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In a statement, Dominion said: "We are pleased to see this process moving forward to hold Fox accountable."

 

Dominion accused Fox of trying to avoid viewer defections to conservative rivals Newsmax and One America News by amplifying false theories that the company rigged the 2020 election so Republican Donald Trump would lose to Democrat Joe Biden.

 

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Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch to face questioning as part of Dominion Voting’s $1.6 billion lawsuit

 

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch is slated to appear for a deposition on Monday as the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against the company and its cable networks moves forward.

 

Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, has argued Fox News and Fox Business made false claims its voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

 

Fox personalities including Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro were deposed earlier this year.

 

Murdoch will be the highest-ranking executive to be questioned so far. A Fox Corp. spokesman declined to comment on Thursday.

 

In June, a Delaware judge overseeing the case had reportedly ruled that Dominion’s lawsuit could be expanded beyond the cable TV networks to include their parent company, meaning Fox Corp.’s chair and Lachlan’s father, Rupert Murdoch, could also be deposed. Dominion has argued the parent company and its top brass played a role in Fox’s hosts in spreading misinformation about voter fraud.

 

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CYBER NINJAS CEO’S TEXT MESSAGES ABOUT ARIZONA ‘AUDIT’ REVEAL FREQUENT CONTACTS WITH ELECTION DENIERS

 

As local officials in Cochise County, Ariz., face lawsuits for refusing to certify the results of the 2022 midterms, American Oversight has obtained additional records from last year’s discredited “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 vote, including text messages with conspiracy theorists pushing the same lies fueling today’s ongoing election denial.

 

The partisan “audit,” initiated following the 2020 presidential election by the Arizona Senate and conducted by lead contractor Cyber Ninjas, was heavily influenced by lies about a stolen election and helped inspire other absurd election “investigation” efforts. 

 

The latest documents — released the day before Thanksgiving in response to American Oversight’s lawsuit for records related to the “audit” — were formerly held by Cyber Ninjas and include text messages sent and received by former CEO Doug Logan. The messages show Logan communicating with a wide cast of Trump-allied election deniers and provide more insight into how “audit” leaders’ helped sow distrust in U.S. democracy. 

 

Evidence uncovered through our investigation into the Maricopa County “audit” demonstrated that it was launched with the predetermined goal of finding fraud that would discredit the results of the 2020 election. The newly released messages also show how the election deniers in charge of the “audit” anticipated similar efforts to follow in other states across the country.

 

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Pennsylvania Republicans reconsider their war on mail voting

 

For the past two years, Republican officials in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania have blasted mail voting, firing off lawsuits and bills aimed at crippling the balloting method that has become increasingly popular post-pandemic.

 

In the wake of a midterm cycle that proved disastrous for them, they’re wondering if their antipathy to the idea cost them the election.

 

“There’s no question in my mind that Republicans have to have a different mail-in strategy,” said Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania. “When one party votes for 30 days and one party votes for one, you’re definitely going to lose.”

 

Across the country, the GOP’s disappointing midterm results have kicked off hand-wringing about the party’s attitude toward early voting and mail ballots. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley — both potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates — have said recently that Republicans can’t simply ignore the voting mechanisms Democrats have taken advantage of.

 

But the about-face is particularly striking in Pennsylvania, where Republicans have adopted an especially uncompromising approach to mail-in voting.

 

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Republicans in Pennsylvania are questioning voter suppression. 
 

Not because it's immoral and unAmerican, mind you. Because it might not be working at getting them power. 
 

So they're looking for other ways they can change the rules, to rig the system. 

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GOP sues over special elections in Pa. House majority battle

 

The top-ranking Republican in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives asked a court late Friday to prevent voters from filling three vacant seats in February that will determine majority control of the chamber.

 

Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster, who served as speaker until Nov. 30, asked Commonwealth Court to issue an injunction, naming the Department of State, acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman and the Allegheny County Elections Board as defendants.

 

Cutler’s filing came days after his Democratic counterpart as floor leader, Rep. Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia, claimed the mantle of the chamber’s presiding officer and sent the state orders scheduling the elections for Feb. 7.

 

Helped by redrawn district maps and strength at the top of the ticket in gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, Democrats won a net of 12 seats in the November election, barely enough to retake control of the House, 102-101, after more than a decade in the minority.

 

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Inside the secret $32M effort to stop ‘Stop the Steal’

 

A pair of progressive organizations operating in complete secrecy spearheaded a $32 million campaign during the midterms to push back against former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement.

 

The effort, first reported by POLITICO, was undertaken by two newly created groups: Pro-Democracy Center and Pro-Democracy Campaign. Those groups operated in states across the country as the election system faced unprecedented pressure from Trump and his allies, who falsely said that the 2020 election was stolen.

 

Among the initiatives funded included:

  • Supporting organizations that were pushing for expansive ballot measures on voting in Arizona and Michigan.
  • Boosting voter outreach programs, like groups hosting registration drives at local jails in Pennsylvania and “souls to the polls” events in Florida.
  • Backing campaigns to urge local officials to expand access to early voting.

Altogether, the organizations funded 126 groups across 16 states, from national battleground states like Arizona and Pennsylvania to places like South Carolina and New Jersey, where most statewide races have not been particularly competitive.

 

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Florida's effort to charge 20 people with voter fraud has hit some roadblocks

 

Back in August, Florida officials announced they were charging 20 people with alleged voter fraud. It was the first big set of cases investigated by the state's new election crimes unit, which was created at the urging of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

 

The statewide prosecutor recently secured one conviction through a plea deal. But at least three other cases so far have been dismissed on procedural grounds. And attorneys representing those who were charged say Florida's cases face a tough road — even if they make it to trial.

 

The state's effort has been a controversial one. Many of the individuals charged with voting illegally in 2020 say they thought they were eligible to vote, despite past felony convictions, because the state had given them a voter registration card.

 

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On 12/1/2022 at 5:16 PM, China said:

 

Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch to face questioning as part of Dominion Voting’s $1.6 billion lawsuit

 

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch is slated to appear for a deposition on Monday as the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against the company and its cable networks moves forward.

 

Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, has argued Fox News and Fox Business made false claims its voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

 

Fox personalities including Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro were deposed earlier this year.

 

Murdoch will be the highest-ranking executive to be questioned so far. A Fox Corp. spokesman declined to comment on Thursday.

 

In June, a Delaware judge overseeing the case had reportedly ruled that Dominion’s lawsuit could be expanded beyond the cable TV networks to include their parent company, meaning Fox Corp.’s chair and Lachlan’s father, Rupert Murdoch, could also be deposed. Dominion has argued the parent company and its top brass played a role in Fox’s hosts in spreading misinformation about voter fraud.

 

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Rupert Murdoch's turn to face questions in $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News

 

Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News and Fox Corp, which is its parent company, after an array of Fox hosts and guests promoted false claims that Dominion threw votes from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden in the 2020 elections.

 

Attorneys for Dominion privately questioned Murdoch's elder son Lachlan, the Fox Corp boss, under oath for hours at a powerful Los Angeles law firm last Monday. (Lachlan is James' older brother.)

 

The company is seeking to find proof Lachlan Murdoch knew that the claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential elections were false and that he encouraged or simply allowed them to be broadcast anyway on Fox News, his family's dominant profit engine.

 

In fresh court filings Wednesday, Dominion's attorneys accused Fox of destroying evidence from some of its most important figures: Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, top stars Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, along with other stars, network executives and sources, presumably related to the claims of election fraud.

 

Dominion is asking a special master in the case, who is aiding the Delaware judge overseeing the discovery process in the lawsuit, to issue an order finding "that Fox acted recklessly or with the intent to deprive Dominion of the spoliated information's use in the trial."

 

The company asked for sanctions against Fox and its attorneys, which would include covering legal fees and directing the jury in the upcoming trial, scheduled for April, that it must presume the evidence would have hurt Fox's defense.

 

Fox says it was covering an inherently newsworthy claim from inherently newsworthy sources — a sitting president and his campaign attorneys. The network contends the lawsuit is an affront to free speech.

 

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Dershowitz tries to disentangle from Arizona voting machine suit

 

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz wants to be excused from paying any sanctions in the failed lawsuit to require hand counts of votes, saying he really had nothing to do with the claims a judge rejected.

 

The former Harvard Law School professor acknowledged he was listed as one of the attorneys on the filings by Kari Lake and Mark Finchem seeking to outlaw machine counts. That ended when U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi said their claims that using tabulators can produce inaccurate results were little more than speculation, backed only by “vague’’ allegations about electronic voting systems generally.

 

And Tuchi said the pair’s attorneys — but not the failed candidates for governor and secretary of state — are responsible for paying the legal fees incurred by Maricopa County in defending the lawsuit. The county has requested $141,690.

 

But in a new filing, the 84-year-old lawyer is saying that he should bear no part of that burden.

 

“I was asked to provide my consultation only on constitutional issues in lawsuits involving voting machines,’’ Dershowitz said in a declaration filed with the federal court by Jack Wilenchik who he has retained as counsel in the legal fees dispute.

 

“My role was expressly limited to the potential for future abuses based on the unwillingness of voting machine companies to disclose the inner workings of their machines,’’ he continued.

 

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Make him pay.

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Gov. Mike DeWine signs photo ID requirement, election changes into law

 

Gov. Mike DeWine signed a major overhaul of state election laws on Friday that will require voters to present a photo ID at the polls.

 

Under the new law, voters must present a photo ID when they cast their ballot in person, although the ID doesn't need to have their current address on it. Qualifying IDs include an Ohio driver's license, state ID, U.S. passport, passport card, military ID or interim identification issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

 

Voters could previously use alternative forms of identification at the polls, such as utility bills or bank statements.

 

As part of the new rules, any Ohioans 17 and older will be eligible to receive a free state ID card. Ohio licenses and ID cards must also note if the person is not a U.S. citizen.

The law also:

  • Requires completed mail-in ballots to arrive within four days of Election Day, instead of 10.
  • Requires voters who want to vote by mail to submit an application at least seven days before Election Day, instead of three.
  • Permits only one ballot drop box per county that's installed at the county board of elections office.
  • Eliminates in-person voting the Monday before Election Day and reallocates those hours to another time.
  • Gives provisional voters until four days after the election to provide missing information to election officials, instead of seven days.
  • Give boards of elections until eight days after the election to determine whether provisional ballots can be counted.
  • Eliminates most special elections in August unless the county, municipality or school district is under a fiscal emergency.
  • Prohibits curbside voting, unless the voter has a disability and is unable to enter their polling place.
  • Allows all 17-year-olds to serve as election officials, not just high school seniors.

 

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Exposure to the Russian Internet Research Agency foreign influence campaign on Twitter in the 2016 US election and its relationship to attitudes and voting behavior

 

Abstract
There is widespread concern that foreign actors are using social media to interfere in elections worldwide. Yet data have been unavailable to investigate links between exposure to foreign influence campaigns and political behavior. Using longitudinal survey data from US respondents linked to their Twitter feeds, we quantify the relationship between exposure to the Russian foreign influence campaign and attitudes and voting behavior in the 2016 US election. We demonstrate, first, that exposure to Russian disinformation accounts was heavily concentrated: only 1% of users accounted for 70% of exposures. Second, exposure was concentrated among users who strongly identified as Republicans. Third, exposure to the Russian influence campaign was eclipsed by content from domestic news media and politicians. Finally, we find no evidence of a meaningful relationship between exposure to the Russian foreign influence campaign and changes in attitudes, polarization, or voting behavior. The results have implications for understanding the limits of election interference campaigns on social media.

 

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Rightwing group pours millions in ‘dark money’ into US voter suppression bid

 

The advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation, the powerful conservative thinktank based in Washington, spent more than $5m on lobbying in 2021 as it worked to block federal voting rights legislation and advance an ambitious plan to spread its far-right agenda calling for aggressive voter suppression measures in battleground states.

 

Previously unreported 2021 tax filings from Heritage Action for America, which operates as the foundation’s activist wing, shows that it spent $5.1m on contracting outside lobbying services. The outlay comes on top of $560,000 the group invested in its own in-house federal lobbying efforts that year, as well as registered lobbying by Heritage Action staffers in at least 24 states.

 

The 990 tax filing was obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with the Guardian. It points to the pivotal role that Heritage Action is increasingly playing in shaping the rules that govern US democracy.

 

The efforts help explain the unprecedented tidal wave of restrictive voting laws that spread across Republican-controlled states in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. The Brennan Center reported that more voter suppression laws were passed in 2021 than in any year since it began monitoring voting legislation more than a decade ago.

 

The expenditures also signal a dramatic increase in Heritage Action’s advocacy activities. In 2020, Heritage Action had reported no spending at all on outside lobbying.

 

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Allen announces withdrawal from voter registration group

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s new secretary of state announced the state’s withdrawal Tuesday from a 32-state voter registration partnership, a data-sharing effort that was designed to maintain accurate voter rolls but has sometimes become the target of conservative ire and conspiracy theories.

 

https://apnews.com/article/politics-alabama-district-of-columbia-privacy-11ce75ad3f0273fe07c3e7ca10d64fcc

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